Sunday, January 27, 2013


January 2012


What kind of dog is this? NO idea. But he is ALL character. He's hilarious, in looks and antics. He makes me laugh. A lot.
When we first pulled him from the shelter, we thought he was a Boxer puppy. But it turns out that he is almost an adult, so he's got to be a smaller breed. Maybe Puggle?
He is a fantastic little guy, loves everyone, and shows his love by licking. He licks everything... the furniture, the walls, the picture frames, the other dogs, your ear, the cats, etc etc etc. LOL.
I'm sure it won't take this little guy long to find his forever family. There is someone out there just waiting for a dog like this to bring laughter into their home.


November 2012 and January 2013

Honey was never meant to be a foster. She was a Shelter dog, that was being adopted from the shelter, and we pulled her to get her spayed before she went to her new home.
She was only going to be here overnight, but she got out of the yard and disappeared on us, missing her spay appointment.
She was found early the next morning, but I was already on the road to the vet in Kanab, so she didn't go with us.
We couldn't send her back to the shelter, and we couldn't get a hold of the people who were going to adopt her, so she stayed with us, even though we weren't taking in any new fosters because we were planning on traveling for Marian's graduation in Chicago.
When it was time for us to leave, we put out a request for a new foster so that we wouldn't have to take her back to the shelter. (she still technically belonged to the shelter, we hadn't officially taken her on as a HART dog yet).
The person who came forward to foster was the family who originally wanted to adopt her from the shelter.
Perfect, right?
Fast forward a month later. The family called and said that it wasn't working out and they decided not to keep her. So we officially took her on as a H.A.R.T. dog, and she came back to our house.
Honey is such a sweet dog. A bit shy, a little timid, but oh so sweet and snuggly. She loves to be pet and snuggled, and knows how to get a space on the bed and cuddle right in.
We had her back here for a couple weeks then took her with us to HWAC in CA. I wasn't sure if she would pass the temperament test or not, since she was so shy, but they loved her and accepted her into their program. She was adopted out in only a couple days, and I hope that she has the wonderful family that she deserves.

Josie and Briggs

Jan 2013

Both of these pups were shelter rescues, SO young, and SO little.
Josie went to a different foster home for a few days, but then we took her when her foster went out of town. Briggs came here directly from the shelter.



Josie is an 8 wk old Aussie mix pup. Full of piss and vinegar, LOL. She definitely has attitude and character. Not afraid of anything, will stand up to the big dogs like she's 10x the size she really is.
She housebroke herself in just a couple days, and was perfectly crate trained.
SUCH a good puppy, I really enjoyed having her here.
We had her for only a couple weeks, until we went to HWAC where she was accepted and adopted very quickly. She kept everyone on their toes and was definitely a lot of fun to have around.


Briggs is 7 wks old, a little grunty Shep mix pup, with amazing puppy breath. He was absolutely adorable and so much fun to have here.  He was only here a short time before our trip to HWAC, but I enjoyed every moment. Except for the pee. And the poop. And the whining. And the pee. It's a good thing he was adorable. LOL

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Irwin, Bonnie, and Al



Irwin is one of 11 dogs that we pulled from the shelter this week. He is the cutest, sweetest little pup. I said we'd never have another red Heeler after Sedona, but this little guy was out to prove me wrong. He is well behaved, so sweet, and really smart.
And quiet. Oddly quiet. I dont' think I've heard one peep from him in the days that we've had him. Even when he's playing with the other pups, he never makes a noise.
He is only 4-5 months old, housebroken and crate trained.
He's supposed to be going to CA with us next week, but I won't be surprised if he gets adopted before we go. What a doll.
He had started training as a service dog, but was having a hard time getting used to his owner's electric wheelchair, so he ended up at the shelter. I'm so glad that we pulled him (at the ACO's insistent urging, lol. She wasn't going to let us leave without him.)


Bonnie was a 'free pup' on Craigslist. I had contacted the people who posted the ad last week, but they had decided to keep her. Fantastic. That leaves us space for others. So we went to the shelters and pulled a dozen dogs. The very next day the owner called and asked if we were still able to take her, as she was having an allergic reaction to her. I couldn't say no. What's one more puppy, right?
I hadn't seen her before they brought her to me, and oh my gosh. I was surprised (for some reason I was expecting a little black dog). She is gorgeous.
Her owners had named her Bon Qui Qui, but we 'adjusted' it to Bonnie. Wade and the boys can NOT stop laughing. And yes, they all still call her Bon Qui Qui. LOL!
She's a smart little thing, about 11 wks old. Uses the dog door (not 100% housebroken, but oh so close), and she's already crate trained which is a huge plus.
She has a tiny sliver of blue in one eye, which gives her a bit of a lopsided look when she stares at you, and it makes me laugh. She's got a great personality, so so sweet.
She'll be going to CA with us next week as well.


Oh Al. He is one of the dogs pulled from the shelter this week. We had a foster for him right out of the shelter, but it didn't work out there, he killed the foster's bird :(. Bad Al. And after animal control had picked him up while he was trying to get warm in a chicken coop! Never touched a chicken. But a pet bird... oh Al. Not a good way to make friends.

We were able to get him a ride to St George, and he came here. I didn't want to place him in another foster home, because I wanted to keep an eye on him. His first foster said that he had been trying to dig out of her yard, and he was lifting his leg in the house. Generally being a bad house guest, even before the unfortunate bird killing.

So, I was prepared to have my work cut out for me with this guy. But I couldn't have been more wrong. Al is amazing. He is unbelievably sweet, well behaved, and quite the snuggler. He gets along well with everyone, including the cats. He has lifted his leg in the house a couple times, but stops immediately when told no. He pouts when reprimanded and hangs his head, lol, so he knows he's done wrong. . He will learn quickly that it's not allowed (and once he's neutered, that will help too). He uses the dog door and other than the marking, he is housebroken.
We brushed him with a shedding blade, and removed an entire Cocker Spaniel. He's still harboring a Pomeranian in there, but we're getting it a little at a time. LOL. I think he's been an outdoor dog for quite some time.

He is a dancer, a bendy-wiggler, a smiler, and a snuggler. And a thief.... he's stolen my heart. He wants to be with people, and is happiest if he's touching someone. Right now, he's lying by my feet, just watching me type. Every time I look at him, he wags his tail.
He is going to make someone a wonderful forever friend.

Update: Al was accepted at HWAC in CA, and has been adotped.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Kyla: First foster of the New year 2013


I am not letting another year go by without writing in the Starfish Journal. This journal means a lot to me, and there are numerous times that I've come here to look up past fosters to remember when we had them, or for how long, or what fosters we had together.
It's an important part of our lives, and I don't want the memories lost. These dogs make a big impact on our lives, and they deserve to be remembered.

I knew when I logged on in September and saw that I hadn't posted anything for a whole year, that it was going to be impossible to 'catch up'. I think that's one of the reasons why I kept getting further and further behind... I was waiting for time to catch up. Well, that wasn't going to happen.
Even after my resolve to start afresh, I made that post in September and then that was it. Even though we had several fosters at the time.
But now I find myself in a new year, with only one foster, so I figured now is as good a time as any to get the Starfish Journal back on it's feet.  I can't promise to be as on top of it as I was in the beginning, I just don't have the spare time that I had back then, but I'm going to give it my best shot. :)

So, how is it that we find ourselves with only one foster dog at the moment? The last couple months have been a bit hectic in the Freitas household. But we were striving towards a goal: no fosters by Christmas, so that we could leave for a week to fly to Chicago and attend our daughter's Navy boot camp graduation.
Thanks to the Super Adoption event on Dec 7-8 EVERY SINGLE ONE of our fosters was adopted (19 H.A.R.T. dogs adopted in 2 days!!!) and we were able to accomplish  that goal.
Of course, even though we tried to remain foster free, fate always has other ideas, and we ended up with 3 more fosters before too long. But they were all taken into other foster homes shortly before (and in one case, ON) Christmas Day.
We were then able to enjoy a short (VERY COLD) vacation to Chicago.

They day we got home, miss Kyla came to us. She was Lorraine's foster, but they were leaving for New Years, so we got to have this perky puppy stay with us.
This little 12 week old girl is FULL of personality. Smart as a whip, playful, and with more confidence than should be allowed in a package this small.
We don't know what her breed mix is. We're thinking there is some Pointer in there, mixed with a bigger breed like Lab, Boxer, or Pit. She's got a gorgeous brindle on her legs.
She had already learned how to use a dog door at Lorraine's house, so after only a day or so, she was using the dog door here like a pro, and was completely housebroken, even overnight. We don't crate her at night, she has been so good with no accidents.

Kyla has been good for my heart this past week. Puppies have a healing quality about them, their ability to soothe an aching heart is a special gift from God. Kyla came to us while one one of our other fosters was losing his battle with Parvo. Her happy puppy antics could bring a smile to my tear-stained face, she could make me laugh even as my heart was breaking. Holding her in my arms, feeling her little beating heart, gave me the strength to endure the agonizing pain of watching another special heart stop beating.

We think, as foster parents, that these orphans need us.
More times than we realize, it is we who need them.

Update 1-12-13
Kyla is ADOPTED. She has a new big BIG s mastiff sister to play with, and a great new family.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

It's been a YEAR

It has been a whole year since I've written in the Starfish Journal. Time FLIES.

I got too busy to keep up with the photos and the stories, and the more "behind" I got, the harder it was to catch up, so it just got further and further behind.
There have been MANY MANY dogs that have come into our lives in that year.
I would love to list them all, and share photos of them all, and maybe one day I will. But that day is not today.
I just want to get going again, and start sharing the photos and stories of these amazing dogs who have changed our lives.
So, rather than 'catching up' I'm just going to trudge on, starting fresh today. :)

Actually, scratch that. :) How about a compromise? No photos or stories, but I'm going to list the names of all the dogs we've fostered since I last posted here. Then I can come back into this post and add pictures later... all 113, even if it's just one at a time.  :)

Harlee (Stella)
Mo (CAT)

Updated to add fosters from September to December: 

Wendy, Carnie, and Chynna
6 kittens: the Brady Bunch
Casper and Binx
Alex and Andy

Some of these fosters we only had for a day or two, while they were waiting for other foster homes, or waiting for transport to a different rescue.

Others we had here for weeks, and some (POLO!) we had for months.
Some are repeat fosters (Jessie and Ryder), returned from previous adopters.
There are a few that we lost to illness (Rolan/Abrahm, Joey, Sebastian, Dinah).
Some on the list are still waiting for their forever homes (Lilly, Holly, Tiff/Garret).

And many many many are at this moment, enjoying life with their forever families.
Some of the stories are long and full of emotion. Some stories are short and sweet.
But every dog (and cat!) on this list has a story.
And every one of them holds a place in my heart.

Thursday, August 4, 2011


We've had Lia since January, you can follow her story starting HERE.

It's time to update without making you scroll all the way back through months of posts. :)

Lia has turned out to be a really REALLY great dog.

Grown out of her puppy issues, she is so well behaved. She is such a snuggler, and seems to know just when to snuggle... she's so in tune with our emotions, it just amazes me.

I'm impressed with how wonderful she is with kids. She ADORES kids. Every day I'm more impressed with her, and every day I love her more. She has been through SO much, and SO deserves an absolutely wonderful family.

I know that there is a perfect family out there waiting for Lia.

Lia was accepted at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, and currently has a pending adoption! 

Zeus, the last of the Wonder Puppies

You can follow his whole story starting HERE and continued HERE.

All of Zeus' brothers and sisters have long been adopted. This little guy is still waiting for his forever home, and I can't for the life of me figure out why no one has snatched him up.

He's over 8 months old now, and I think he's about as big as he's going to get, which isn't big at all. LOL. We call him our Pocket Pittie. :)

He is sweet, smart, obedient, and loving. He's housebroken, good with the other dogs and the cats.
He sleeps on the bed with us (he took over Amikah's spot when she moved to her own bed), and has learned how to snuggle in slowly and quietly to get all the way up to the pillows at the top without us noticing. LOL.

Absolutley love this little guy.

He's definitely not a traveler. Gets car sick really easily. We've been taking him on more short rides in the car to see if it's something he'll get over eventually.

I know his forever home is out there somewhere, just waiting for him.

Zeus is ADOPTED. His forever family already has a H.A.R.T. dog, Brooklyn. :)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011



Angel came from a shelter up north a couple months ago and has been staying in a different foster home till now.
Shortly after we got her, we learned that she was confiscated from the same home that the Wonder Puppies came from when her owners were charged. A couple of the dogs that were removed from the home were deemed 'unadoptable' and euthanized at the shelter. :(
Angel was on the urgent list, and was lucky enough to get to go to Peg's house rather than her last days being scared and alone in the shelter.

She's timid, and has some fear issues, but she is oh so sweet. She's been at Peg's for a couple months, but it was decided that she would probably fit better at my house with our younger more active dogs. :)

We brought her home yesterday, and so far she's doing really well. She is a bit nervous meeting everyone new who comes in, but I think she'll start to settle in quickly.

There is a possibility that she could be the mother or aunt of Baby. We've always thought that Baby was from a different litter than the Wonder Puppies. She's SO different from them in so many ways.
Wouldn't it be nuts if Angel was her mom? Weirder things have happened. :)

UPDATE 7-15-11
Angel went to a different foster home while we went on our family reunion camping trip. She's doing well there, so they are keeping her as a foster rather than sending her back to us.
She's got some anxiety, and moving her back and forth isn't good for her, so this is will be best for her I think.
Hopefully she gets a forever home soon!

Angel is ADOPTED!

Mason, Thor, and Honey

May 26-11

We got these 3 pups before their owner took them to the shelter. (And we got their Mama dog spayed, so NO MORE puppies for them!)

They are not quite 5 months old, absolutely GORGEOUS, and big!

Mason is the boisterous outgoing one, and the biggest of the bunch. He's such a sweet boy, loves everyone and everything. Look at the size of his FEET!!

Update: June 21, 2011
Mason went to HWAC with us, and was accepted there. He found a home in CA pretty quickly. Someone there is a lucky family to get such a great dog!

Thor is stunningly beautiful, with a personality to match. He's such a sweet boy, and SO smart.

UPDATE: 8-1-11
We had Thor a bit longer than the others. He is a bit shy, but so super sweet. We absolutely loved having him here. He loved the water, and was a source of constant entertainment for us. :)
He was adopted Saturday, and hopefully starting to settle in. They report that he's a little bit shy of the dad in the family, but we've talked about ways for them to work with his shyness and pull him out of his shell.

Honey is the little girl, smallest of the bunch. She's a little shy, but oh so sweet. She loves Wade. :) We're working on her social skills, and she's getting a little better every day. She's going to make someone a wonderful companion.

UPDATE 7-15-11
Honey went to a different foster home while we were on our family reunion vacation, and she was adopted while we were gone! LOL. Great new family who absolutely loves her. I love the updated pictures of her snuggled up with her little boy!


May 3, 2011

Emma is absolutely adorable. She's got kennel cough, so is being treated for that before she's available for adoption. She is 2 yrs old, and has got the sweetest personality. What a doll.

UPDATE: Emma is at a different foster home while she's being treated for kc, so we don't have to worry about the puppies catching it.

June 8, 2011

Emma's kennel cough was gone, and her foster mom going out of town the end of May, so Emma came back to us.
She went to her first adoption event with us, and was the hit of the day, even though she wasn't adopted. What a sweetheart of a girl.

Before her next adoption event, a family called who had seen her online. They came and picked her up Saturday morning for a weekend sleepover. By Monday, they couldn't imagine life without her, and her adoption was finalized. YAY for Emma! When I went to their home to finish up the paperwork, she looked SO happy. What a perfect fit for her.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


May 24, 2011

What a crazy few months it's been.

Finally, after almost 5 months, we were able to take down the puppy pen/play area that we'd built and that had been full of puppies for so long.
They were slowly adopted one by one, and when the last 2 were adopted this last weekend, we cheered. And we cried.

4-5 months is a long long long time to have so many puppies. Baylee's 10, the 7 Wonder puppies, and the many others that came and went in the meantime.

However, as tiring as it was, it was worth it. I loved every single one of those pups. And each one of them takes a piece of my heart with them when they go to their new homes.

We are still trying to reduce the number of our fosters for this summer so that we can take a much needed break and maybe a vacation for a little bit.

Right now, we have Lia, Tracy, Blue, Mindy, Zeus, Artie, Stephen and William.

Stephen and William are adopted, just waiting for them to be picked up and taken home this weekend.
Mindy is hopefully going to be adopted and going home before this weekend as well.

Zeus and Artie are the last 2 Wonder pups. They are housebroken now, and we don't even have to crate them when we leave the house. Good boys.
We have an adoption event this Saturday, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that these 2 great boys find their forever homes.

Tracy is a doll and I love her. I can't believe that no one has been interested in her yet. She would make such an awesome family dog.

Lia is like having 10 dogs. LOL. She's energetic and quite loud when she plays. She's been through SO much in her short little life, and she's our family 'project'. :) She's not the sharpest knife in the drawer, and it takes a bit more effort and patience to give her what she needs. She wants so badly to please us, and she does try.

And Blue. What can I say about Blue? He's a big ol goof, and I feel so badly for him that he has been returned twice. The right home for him is out there somewhere. I know it.

And Blue is back... Again.

Blue's original post HERE.

May 2011

Blue sure has been through a lot, poor guy.
He was adopted in 2009, then returned after a year and a half, because their son was diagnosed with asthma, and they couldn't keep the dogs in the house anymore. Blue wasn't having any of that, and just couldn't adjust, so they returned him to us.

We had him for a few weeks before he was adopted by a family with another Weimaraner.
They had him for about 3 months before returning him to us. I guess 2 Weims in the house were more than what they had expected it to be. Not everyone has that kind of patience, LOL.

We tried him at HWAC, but he came home with us.

What are we going to do with this big guy? He's SUCH a goof. Hopefully the RIGHT home is just waiting around the corner for him.

And almost as quickly as he'd been returned, he was adopted. Wonderful family in Vegas who have had Weims before and love (and understand) the breed.
YAY for Blue! Let's hope this time it STICKS!


May 2011

Mindy came from the shelter the same time as Oso and Amanda and that bunch. She went to CA with us, but didn't get accepted, so she came back.

Love this little girl. She's energetic and loving, and so so sweet. She just wants to be right next to me all the time.

We met someone in CA while we were walking the dogs there, who sent Mindy's picture to his mom. She called, and will be coming to meet Mindy this week, hopefully to adopt her! :)

UPDATE 6-1-11:

The CA person never showed up for Mindy, which turned out ok, because the perfect Mindy family was waiting just around the corner. I had placed an ad on Craigslist for Mindy and they saw her there. It was the goofy face that they fell in love with, I know it, LOL.
They have a wonderful energetic Chocolate Lab who is now Mindy's brother, and she's got a fantastic new life with them!

5 Lab Puppies

May 2011

Had these little cuties for a few days before they made the road trip to CA. :)

Fun, gorgeous little pups, we didn't even have time to name them. And I wouldn't have been able to tell them apart even if we had, LOL.

They were a month younger than Baylee's puppies, and the same size! Big pups. And oh so squishy.

Oso, Amanda, Buddy, Kipper and Hailey

May 2011

Didn't have these guys for very long, but they were great while we had them.

Oso and Amanda came from the same shelter, both were accepted at HWAC.

Oso was so gorgeous, and so sweet. Really fantastic dog. I can't believe he was in the shelter for as long as he was. He was adopted almost immediately at HWAC.

Amanda was only with us for a couple days before going to a different foster home where there was a bit less energy than with us. A cute little thing, about 5 years old.

Buddy came from the shelter as well, and was with us for a little while before going to a different foster home. About 3 years old, he had the cutest personality. Loved this little guy!
He was accepted at HWAC.

Kipper and Hailey came from the shelter too, and we only had them here a couple days before going to HWAC. They were both accepted. (shelter photos... I didn't have time to take new pictures of them. How sad is that?)